I have been thinking recently about what motivates me to create bespoke women’s suits and dresses. The quality and beauty of hand tailored garments is certainly part of it, however my main ‘product’ (for want of a better word) is not a physical object, but a feeling.
What makes my work worthwhile to me is generating confidence and happiness in my clients. This is the essence of the Dara Ford tailoring experience.
It is my aim that every woman who walks through my studio door feels understood and supported to look her best, thereby enabling her to be successful in her profession and career.
The power of clothes
As a young girl growing up in Germany I was aware from an early age that the right clothes could make you part of the club…or not. My parents are from the USA and Canada respectively and all my extended family live in those countries too. My siblings and I would be sent gifts by our relatives which were wonderful, sometimes even home-sewn by my aunt and grandmother. I would wear my new clothes to school proudly, until I realised that I was the only child in the playground dressed in this way. Thus my delight at new outfits was soon dampened when I realised that I looked so different to everyone else and just didn’t quite fit in. I learnt to turn that sense of otherness into an asset later on, but the power of clothing was revealed to me from that time on.
Which fashion tribe are you?
Clothes tell stories and also mark us out as belonging to fashion tribes. So even if you have no interest in style you will never-the-less align yourself with similar people via the clothing choices you make. A great project that highlights this is Exactitudes by photographer Ari Versluis and stylist Ellie Uyttenbroek. I highly recommend their book as a great addition to your coffee table collection. It is guaranteed to spark off some interesting conversations.
As I talked about in a recent blog post, tailoring in the work place plays a vital role in how we are perceived by others. In particular there is an unspoken understanding around men’s suiting which makes the wearer part of a club and creates assumptions of trust, reliability and competence. Creating these impressions is harder for women and it is my mission to help professional women achieve their potential by tailoring wearable confidence for them.
I want to see more women rising up through the ranks of their companies to reach the very top levels.
And although clothing is only a part of that journey I am convinced that by wearing outfits that make us feel confident, that by being ‘suited and booted’ we project more authority, which in turn helps achieve those goals.
What are your most powerful outfits and colours? Is there a particular item that makes you feel like you could take on anything your work might throw at you? I’d love to hear about your experiences.